If you've followed the recent build up to Andy Butler's beleaguered fourth LP, you know this hasn't been a simple road for the DJ. Naturally, he's far better known by his project's moniker, Hercules & Love Affair, and if the tastelessly massive album header (I for one, apologize) hadn't already bleated that loudly, you might have even scratched your head at his name standing on its own. Yet, more than ever, it feels essential – inseparable – from the music here.

There's no world in which his music hasn't felt borne of personal triumphs and struggles (usually the latter), but Ominion teeters right on the edge of peering perhaps too uncomfortably deeply into his private world. As an excellent Pitchfork piece revealed prior to its release, this is a record drastically informed by addiction, manipulation, greed, betrayal (of his own and by others): the works. Growing up with drugs as a part of his musical experience, Butler had clawed his way out, growing to focus on what really mattered to him. Hercules & the Love Affair was enough, for a time. Naturally, being one of the hottest acts around didn't make partying a foreign opportunity, and he gradually pushed away the friends who mattered, left with the ones who didn't.

While Anhoni's absence was certainly noticeable on his debut's follow ups, those albums didn't feel entirely like missteps, they still offered plenty of joy amidst Butler's personal fumbling. Ominion, however, feels like a reclamation. Butler feels it as well, bursting with rediscovered confidence on ‘Rejoice’, and later trotting into one of the summer's truly perfected grooves with ‘Running’. Centerpiece ‘Fools Wear Crowns’, brings the full brunt of the narrative to bear, however. Notably feature-less, using his own voice when he so often prefers a deft guest turn (Sharon Van Etten, The Horrors’ Faris Badwan and more feature on this album), our guide lets his years spent lost seep out onto center stage. With or without the generous press its received prior to most folks plugging in to listen, it would have told its story clearly.

Yet, it isn't defined by its struggle. What makes it such a grand statement is its ability to either truly take the listener through the mires of Butler's mind, or, to simply offer a damn good time. It all depends on what we choose to invest. Lead single ‘Controller’ can as easily be the pained expression of betrayal and lost trust that is as just a silly, fun tune about gaming as sexual imagery, as some fans have clearly chosen to take it. This is music that can offer everything, but demands nothing. That's no small feat for dance music in the howling maw of 2017.